Newsday recently reported that a man was issued 32 parking tickets in his name although none of them rightfully belonged to him. He had to appear at the Nassau County Traffic And Parking Agency at 16 Cooper Street, Hempstead, in order to clear up the error. He inherited this headache by failing to follow certain best practices when he sold his automobile. He could have avoided them if he followed the following advice.
- Make sure the car’s title is signed by both parties.
- Make sure you write up a simple bill of sale (i.e., a writing showing that the vehicle is being sold naming yourself and the buyer). New York does not have an official bill of sale form for cars.
- Before you sell scrape off the registration sticker from the windshield.
- Remove the license plates and surrender them to DMV
- Cancel your auto insurance on the car but only after you have surrendered your plates
If you don’t follow this advice, you could end up experiencing a variety of problems. The worst problem you can have occurs if you don’t return your license plates to DMV. For each license plate registered in your name, you must maintain continuous automobile insurance coverage from the time you acquire it to the time you surrender it. Any lapse can result in your driver license being suspended plus, of course, fines.
Another pitfall involves your registration sticker. If you fail to remove it, you could be called into answer (and in fact could be found liable) for parking tickets issued after your sale. If you buyer doesn’t register the car but instead uses plates from some other vehicle (this stuff happens more than you’d think), you could be found liable at the last owner of record.